And just like that, WWE has another Brock Lesnar scenario that could end up building one of tomorrow's big stars.
It seemed Lesnar and Paul Heyman's decision to enter the Royal Rumble in the No. 1 spot was a strange one at first. Why would The Beast Incarnate, already the top champ on Raw, care about entering first? Is it to prove dominance? Eliminate all contenders for his title? Defy the rules and challenge SmackDown's champion?
All of those are fun ideas, but ponder something else: What if Lesnar gets eliminated?
Call it another bonafide chance to cement a next big star. The WWE champion is bound to fixate on the Superstar who eliminates him from the match, setting up a feud that leads into a WrestleMania 36 clash.
It screams of a good time to finally strap a rocket to the back of an Aleister Black or Drew McIntyre, as brief examples. They shock him with a rather clean elimination, ruining Heyman's spoiler, then he attempts revenge right up until a star-defining match at the company's biggest annual show.
Readers are probably going "yeah right" because this is WWE and it doesn't often play by these sorts of rules, no matter how good they sound. Odds are Lesnar comes out and eventually gets eliminated by Cain Velasquez to set up their rematch.
Which is frustrating because while that sort of feud might net good YouTube viewing numbers, most fans seem tired of the idea already. They don't want to see another Lesnar-Roman Reigns dance or another Lesnar-Seth Rollins affair. The latter was so ho-hum last time out it had to open WrestleMania 35, ended on a low blow and the new champion had problems keep fans engaged.
If nothing else, the Royal Rumble on January 26 could be incredibly fun. There will be match-long intrigue about whether Lesnar will get eliminated. We'll get a taste of his "bit off more than he could chew" we saw when Goldberg bested him in a bout.
And we'll get constant entertaining, rare interactions like Lesnar squaring off with notables such as Randy Orton, if not NXT names like Keith Lee. Maybe, just maybe, a John Cena or Goldberg interaction, too. Knowing WWE, we'll get some fun comedy acts with an R-Truth as well as a heel trying to align himself with Lesnar, only to find himself on the outside looking back up at a smirking Beast.
Maybe the only long-term story that doesn't prop up a new Superstar worth exploring here is a Kofi Kingston revenge angle. The Rumble is his stomping grounds of sorts thanks to his always-wicked avoidance of elimination. If he pulls off another gravity-defying feat to eliminate Lesnar, who isn't thrilled? But the New Day man hasn't shown any indication he's even thinking about his embarrassing loss on SmackDown.
But the hope has to be it all isn't for naught. This is a real chance to develop a newer star as a mind-games master, not just a powerhouse who can stand toe-to-toe with one of the greatest ever. A Samoa Joe or Black taunting Lesnar over the elimination on the Road to WrestleMania is must-see stuff and builds long-term credibility for the challenger.
This doesn't have to mean the match goes on to headline The Show of Shows by going on last. It doesn't even have to necessarily result in the propped-up Superstar beating Lesnar one-one-one (though it sure wouldn't hurt). But it's a chance to establish another Reigns, Rollins or Orton to help carry things, hopefully without having to worry about it merely being a sporadic Kingston-type main event trip or a missed chance as with Braun Strowman.
And WWE could use the help. Lesnar running off with a show's top title and rarely showing up isn't working, largely because fans aren't buying into something like the United States title shifting to the main event scene again. Fans have done this too many times in the past to heavily invest in other titles while The Beast is away because it goes right back to be meaningless when he returns.
The debate as to which Superstar should get this sort of boost can rage ever onward among fans as the Rumble nears. But it seems rather telling WWE has created this opportunity for itself. The door is now open if the company wants to create not only an unforgettable Rumble moment but also a potential moment at WrestleMania.
Yes, this door has been massively ignored in the past. But the specter of a rising star eliminating The Beast is too salivating not to bring up. In fact, it stands as the most exciting of the many possibilities now Lesnar has inserted himself into the event.